The moment Jake Fromm realized teammate Jacob Eason was in pain, he picked up a football and started warming up.
Georgia was only 8 minutes 30 seconds into its 2017 season when Fromm, a true freshman from Houston County, was called into the game. Eason went down with a left knee injury and needed assistance to walk off the field.
At the moment, Georgia’s offense hadn’t performed so well. The unit went three-and-out on its first two possessions and was about to face another third down if not for the late hit from Appalachian State outside linebacker Devan Stringer.
Fromm, however, provided a spark to the offense. He completed two quick passes for 16 yards, which then opened up a 10-yard run from Sony Michel two plays later. Fromm’s ability to decide where to go with the ball quickly aided the offense, as Appalachian State’s defense couldn’t key on the run as much.
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Fromm also showed an ability to stand in the pocket and take a hit. His first career touchdown pass, a 34-yard jump ball throw to receiver Javon Wims, came while absorbing a tackle.
“Jake Fromm, he did exactly what I thought Jake Fromm would do,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “There has not been a moment too big for Jake Fromm since he’s been a little kid. He’s always been that way. He played in our scrimmages just as he played out there. He knows how to manage the game really well.”
Fromm completed 10 of 15 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. He attempted only three passes in the second half, having gone for 109 yards in the first two quarters. One of Fromm’s second-half passing attempts came on a fourth-and-4, which saw Fromm go through his reads and find a wide-open Wims for 22 yards.
Three plays later, Nick Chubb was able to rush for a touchdown.
“Every day in practice, Fromm is incredible,” Wims said. “He’s an incredible talent and a smart kid.”
Georgia’s offensive game-plan was to hit Appalachian State with some tempo, and that’s how Eason opened up the game. When Fromm entered, nothing changed from an attack standpoint.
But Fromm was the quarterback who found the first bit of success against Appalachian State. Even so, Smart said there were still some issues to work out.
“He made some mistakes too, some things that could have been costly,” Smart said. “Sometimes you look at the result and not the decision. We’re looking at the decision and not the result.”
Smart said he will learn more about the extent of Eason’s injury Sunday. If Eason is unable to play against Notre Dame, Fromm will earn his first career start.
His teammates already appear confident in him if it comes to that.
“I know he has the leadership capabilities and can do anything he really wants,” inside linebacker Roquan Smith said. “He’s an awesome guy on and off the field. I just feel like if any guy was prepared for it, he was a fit.”